Attention All Nippon passengers, please empty your bladders before boarding!


Ya know, I’ve seen a lot of strange things working as a flight attendant in the last fourteen years, I really have, and just when I think I’ve seen it all a passenger will surprise me. Recently an elderly woman asked if I’d be willing to help her get her bra back on right after she yelled at me for talking too much in the aisle. And then there was the time I sat down on my jumpseat in the back of the airplane and another passenger cracked the lavatory door open and asked if I had a magazine she – not he could borrow. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.

Most of the time it’s a passenger making a strange request, but this time it’s an airline and that airline is implementing one wacky new policy. It wants you to pee before you fly. As of October 1, 2009, All Nippon Airways (ANA), a Japanese Airline, is asking its passengers to empty their bladders before boarding a flight, and they’re doing so in the guise of going green. Now I’m all for being green, I even carry my own eco friendly refillable water bottle along with me on trips, but setting up signs at the airport and hiring “loo-attendants” to remind people to use the bathroom is kind of crazy, don’t ya think? ANA believes a lighter aircraft will result in lower fuel use which in return will create a reduction in carbon emissions.

Perhaps All Nippon is on to something. It’s been rumored that American Airlines saved $40,000 in 1987 when they removed one olive – ONE OLIVE! – from each salad in first class. Can you imagine how much money will be saved if every single passenger on board a full flight uses the loo before take-off? According to the, the average human bladder capacity is 15oz, which means if 150 passengers relieved themselves that would total to 63.7kg of waste. That’s 140 pounds, people! That doesn’t even count the amount of money the airline stands to save on toilet paper. Now does anyone know how much an olive weighs?


2 Replies to “Attention All Nippon passengers, please empty your bladders before boarding!”

  1. I am not sure what the average olive weighs and it seems to be the one factoid I can’t google. Guess I could take this on as an ongoing experiment, weighing my olives from my martinis when I am at the bar. It would give me a better excuse to go to the bar…scientific research.

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